Amazon India will delist Appario Retail, a seller firm on the marketplace that the retailer owns under the joint venture with Patni Group, within a year. The decision comes six months after Cloudtail India, which was formerly a joint venture between the e-commerce behemoth and Catamaran Ventures (N. R. Narayana Murthy’s family office), shut shop on May 1.
Amazon has been facing allegations from the seller community of giving preferential treatment to these sellers where it owns a stake.
In a joint statement, Amazon and Patni Group said the companies have decided to renew their joint venture (JV), Frontizo Business Services Private Limited, under which Appario is housed. While the JV for Frontizo, which offers multi-channel customer support services to Amazon, continues, the companies have decided to shut Appario which has been operating as a seller on the marketplace.
“Amazon and India’s Patni group-owned Zodiac Wealth Management LLP have agreed to renew their joint venture, Frontizo Business Services Private Limited. Partners have decided that Appario Retail Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Frontizo, will cease to be a seller on amazon.in, and amazon.in/business within the next 12 months. The partners will continue to explore new business opportunities, including helping businesses across India to scale up their online presence,” the statement said.
In April, Reuters reported that India’s antitrust body, the Competition Commission of India, raided the offices of Cloudtail and Appario over accusations of having violated competition laws. A Reuters investigation last year, based on Amazon documents, showed it had given preferential treatment for years to a small group of sellers, and used them to bypass Indian laws.
As per the investigation, about 35 of Amazon’s more than 400,000 sellers accounted for around two-thirds of its online sales in India in 2019. Appario and Cloudtail accounted for 35 per cent of the platform’s sales revenue at that time.